- Posted March 23, 2013 by
Hollywood's "Tweet" Smell of Success
After all, there’s no better place to investigate someone who you’re considering working alongside day after day. And, current employers can track your comings and goings more easily than ever before. We’ve all heard stories of the guy in accounting who called in sick, only to be busted when his boss finds a Facebook photo of him partying in Vegas.
Whether you work at Walmart or on Wall Street, how you manage your social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, InstaGram, etc.) can play a big factor in your future.
Cut to: Hollywood.
Top casting directors are also eager to become a “Friend” or “Follower” of actors they are tapping for film and TV projects. Casting director and producer Barbara Divisek says that she reads “everything she can find” online when hiring an actor in order to avoid any “surprises” later. Divisek recently cast the big budget Enthuse Entertainment feature films “Alone Yet Not Alone” and “To Have and to Hold.” AYNA, is set for a theatrical release this fall and will be marketed as an epic family adventure. Divisek says, “If an actor had boasted online about illegal drug use, it would have certainly made it difficult to consider him for a role in a ‘family’ film like Alone Yet Not Alone.”
On the other hand, Divisek and other casting directors believe actors can leverage social media platforms to their professional advantage. Veteran casting director Paul Weber, C.S.A., says that social media can give him clues to an actor’s personality and how they interact with fans. Weber says, “When you hire talent with a strong social media following, it is a real bonus for the project.” But he is quick to clarify that a strong and positive social media presence is just one “factor” in the overall casting process, and often not a “determining one”. As former executive head of casting for MGM Studios, Weber oversaw casting for a number of popular series including the “Stargate” franchise as well as “Spartacus.”
Weber cast actress Marisa Ramirez in “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” despite the fact the prolific actress had no official Twitter or Facebook page. He says, “Actors need to balance hype with true talent and skill. All the social media in the world can't make up for an actor who can't deliver.”
Ramirez’s work on “Spartacus” garnered her a legion of new fans; but she still shied away from social media. She says she avoided social media primarily because she didn’t believe she had “anything to say”. Arguably, the actress has plenty to say at the moment. This month, Ramirez landed the coveted role of Det. Maria Baez, Danny Reagan’s (Donnie Wahlberg) new partner on CBS’s “Blue Bloods.” The response from viewers has been overwhelmingly positive. Reportedly, Ramirez is likely to be asked to stay on as a regular starting next season. Along with her work on "Blue Bloods", Ramirez is recurring this season as Officer Riley Dunn on ABC's "Body of Proof".
She has also tiptoed into Twitter. Her on screen partner Wahlberg encouraged Ramirez’s venture into Tweeting after she admitted to him that she wasn’t sure “how it all worked”. It’s certainly working for Wahlberg who has more than 425,000 Twitter followers @DonnieWahlberg and communicates with them frequently. Ramirez says, “Donnie loves Twitter. I've had conversations with him about it. He has so many fans who are supportive of his endeavors and he’s giving them love right back through Twitter.”
While Ramirez herself might still be working out her Twitter jitters, she’s definitely not short of followers. Within a week of her first Tweet, nearly 12,500 fans are now following her @MarisaMRamirez. Not bad for someone who doesn’t believe she has anything to say.